Personal Narrative: St. Joseph University

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In my freshman year, I made a choice to relinquish some of my social life and replace that time giving back to my community. I joined a non-profit organization called the Volunteer Corp. We spent our time at food banks, park clean-ups, and even hosting local events. This experience left a lasting impression on me in many ways; however, one experience changed my perspective on life and serve as a constant reminder of how the smallest contribution to others can be the most powerful. St. Joseph University, in Philadelphia, held an event called Hand in Hand. It was an event dedicated to raising awareness for people with physical and/or developmental disabilities. I had the honor of working with an individual named Dean. Dean was a high school student who struggled with autism. …show more content…

Months passed and I often thought of Dean. I had wished we exchanged phone numbers so that I could connect with him and continue to build our friendship. I cursed myself for not thinking of it sooner. Until one day, when I was at a local park, I caught glimpse of a father and two of his sons. One of them striking a remarkable resemblance to Dean. I paused as they approached. Before me was Dean, his little brother, and his father. Dean’s father explained that Dean never wanted to be part of Hand in Hand, and that they spent hours convincing him that he should go to meet more people ‘like him’. Dean didn’t want to meet people ‘like him’. Dean wanted to meet people that enjoyed the same things he did, regardless of culture, ability, religion, or gender. Dean wanted what we all want: to belong. I set out that day to be the giver of the greater good, and I actually became the receiver. Henry Ford once stated, “To do more for the world than the world does for you - that is success”. Dean did more for me that day than I had done for

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